In the two sacraments, God presents spiritual realities to us in physical form. Unbelief looks at the physical form only—whether water, bread, or wine—and faith looks upon Christ. Some forms of unbelief look at the physical form only and deny that Christ has anything to do with it. Other forms of unbelief identify Christ with His sacramental clothing. Both are wrongheaded.
In the sacraments, there is the reality and there is the sign. The water, the bread and the wine are the signs. Christ is the reality. Now some, wanting to be wiser than God, say that they would choose Christ, and therefore reject the signs—but these are the tokens that Christ has given to us. Christ has promised to meet us here.
There is only one way to tie the reality and sign together. This way is true, living, evangelical faith. Without faith, we have nothing here but covenantal judgment. In faith, we have a sacramental bond that holds reality and sign together. Everything else is idolatry—either crass superstition that bows before created things, or philosophical idolatry that wants to traffic in mere ideas.
Christ is in the water, Christ is in the bread, Christ is in the wine. As a minister of Christ, I have spoken these words, and Christ is in the words as well. It is not our portion to dissect these realities, trying to separate what God has joined together. We cannot do it successfully, and to the extent that we have done it (in our own hearts and minds), all we have done is walk away from Christ. So don’t walk away—sit and eat. Sit and drink.